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Who I Am

Originally from Kamloops BC, I moved to Vancouver Island in 2016 to pursue my passion for teaching and adventure. The island lifestyle seamed to be better suited for me and my interests as well as offered an amazing education establishment where I could study. Being surrounded by beaches, mountains, forests, and kind people is the fairy tale life that I get to live every day. I have never woken up unhappy about my decision to move to such a beautiful place.

Within my friend group I am loud and love to express myself in many different ways. We enjoy putting down technology and experiencing the moments we have together face to face rather than through a screen. Wether we have chosen to stay in and play board games or wake up early to climb a mountain, it is never a dull moment when we are together.

I believe it is important to always be true to yourself and who you are as a person and hope to be able to teach this mindset to my future students. Being kind to and accepting of others is a very simple task which many people struggle with. It is important to create a space where young minds are able to grow to respect their peers differences and understand that these variations in characteristics are how people create their own identities.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein

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Blog Post 2

For our photography this week we decided to experiment with the outdoor education side of inquiry-based learning. We chose to go down to the beach and build a fort! While this may sound simple, the act of building a fort out of driftwood actually provides a great outlet for hands on learning. While we were building we used problem solving, estimation, prediction, angles, and a little bit of measurement. Playing around with different sized sticks and angles to make the base of our structure was a great test for not only our physical ability to carry the logs, but also for our understanding of how the angle of the logs affects the stability of the structure.

We chose to document the process of building our fort as a form of assessment. By documenting the entirety of the project you are able to not only see the final project but also further comprehend the learning experience. It gives the viewer a way to see where the learner started with their work and all the steps they had to take to be able to get to the final product. When only a photo of the final product is shown, the view cannot see the journey the learner took. In the case of our fort, looking only at the final product the fort looks like a regular beach  fort. However, when you are able to see the entire process of the hard work we had to do to get there it puts the outcome more into perspective for someone looking in on it. Throughout the journey of this project, we were able to learn more about digital photography through the process of documentation, setting up and using a tripod, and using the self-timer.

Blog Post 4: Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry

This is hanging on a wall in the hallway of the school! It’s an awesome way to break down the learning process demonstrated by their students.

The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry is an alternative high school located in downtown Victoria that focusses on inquiry based learning. We were given the opportunity to sit down with the schools founder and principle as well as tour the school and speak with the students. In total, there are 85 students enrolled and only 5 teachers. When I first found this out I couldn’t imagine how this could work, but after walking into the doors it was clear that the students main form of learning is independent and the teachers are only there to serve as educational guides. There is a lot of openness around mental health on the campus, including a room which they call the “cave” that students can book up when they feels they need some space; it is suited up with fidgets, weighted blankets, and different lighting. Student’s are treated as adults and are able to come and go as they please, they are also able to choose topics that interest them. After choosing the theme for their learning, the student must then develop learning plan which shows how this one area of interest is going to be able to help them expand their knowledge in other subject areas. For example, a female student who is very passionate about figure skating decided to calculate the speed and velocity of her spins (meeting physics and maths requirements), go to practice every afternoon (meeting physical education requirements), and design costumes for recitals (meeting her art requirements). She was able to do all this because her interest in the subject area drives her to deepen her learning.

I think this is a great school for many students who are struggling through traditional schooling and whom experience test anxiety. Personally, I don’t think I would have thrived in this schooling environment as a teenager as I would not have had the drive to do the work without the deadlines and due dates. I went to a big high school and loved the diverse social groups as well as having the space to roam the halls. Some of the highlights of my high school “career” are attending sporting events to cheer on my friends who were playing. Because of this schools smaller size there are not any team sports available, and for me that was a large part of my life.

Blog Post 3: E-Portfolios vs Formative Assessment

Today we were given the opportunity to have a guest lecturer, Ian Landy, in our technology class. He is responsible for introducing e-portfolios as an assessment tool into elementary classrooms here on Vancouver island. Going into the lecture I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a little skeptical of the process (having been schooled in a very traditional euro-western manor the idea of no report card and set grading system is very unfamiliar to me) but he definitely shed some light on what might prove to be something that I will incorporate into my future classroom.

E-portfolios are a way of documenting student progress and learning throughout the entire semester. The teacher is able to take pictures, videos files, audio files, and other student submissions and upload them onto the platform. It shows all the work the student has put in the get to the point they are not instead of just a traditional letter grade at slapped on to a report card. Not only does this show the parents their child’s development throughout the term, but it also takes away a lot of the “grading stress” brought on to students come report cards time. They are also a great way to personalize student learning as not every student needs to have the same assessment submissions!

If anyone wants to know more about Ian Landy he has an amazing blog thats worth checking out! He provides a lot of resources and insight into teaching practices. https://technolandy.wordpress.com/

Week 1

We were so excited to get started on learning all about photography and different ways that it can be incorporated into the classroom. For our first week we chose to sit down and really specify what direction we wanted to take our learning in (as there are endless possibilities). We decided that we wanted to experiment on different projects and assignments that we can do with a class involving photography and see how this can be an aid for inquiry based learning.

Now in order to do this, we had to figure out how to use the camera that we rented out from the digital media desk in the library. We chose to walk around downtown and just play around with different setting, lighting, and angles for our first big adventure in order to be able to make a fair project for future students! If we can’t do it, how do we expect students to be able to make a lesson to teach students how to?

Now we are in the middle of figuring out how to upload all our photos onto our computers. Looking through them quickly a lot of them are not great at all, but there are a few that we are very proud of! We will show you some of these in the next post but, for now, heres a selfie we took in a window downtown that is kind of cool.

Update: Here are some of our trial shots that I think are pretty cool!

Week 2

So I chose to start out the list with one of the smaller idea’s that I thought would be fun for me to do! I have a friend who is a carpenter so I asked him to come over and help be build a birdhouse. I was going to buy a little kit from a local hardware store but when I went to look there wasn’t any! Of course my friend had other plans already and showed up to my house with his toolbox and a 2×4 plank of wood. As soon as I saw the equipment in his hands I knew that I was already a little in over my head.

Now to help you visualize what was happening, we were both in my little basement suite trying to accomplish something which definitely should have been done in a workshop. We pushed back my coffee table to get some work room, put on “The Office” and got to work! We for some reason chose to wing it and just start cutting the sides of the house before we measured anything. Luckily this kind of worked out.

Now that you’re hopefully picturing us sawing a large plank of wood in my basement suite I want to add to this by stating that we did not have a hammer to nail the pieces together. Luckily I have found a cool rock at the beach the other day and brought it home, so now you can also try to picture us sitting on my floor slamming a rock into a piece of wood! To top it all off we had no power tools with us so instead of drilling a hole for the birds to go into, my friend came up with the solution to chisel one out.

In all I had a blast making the bird house and it is definitely a memory that I will keep for many years. I think it looks pretty good given the circumstances, however the hole we made was too small to my friend took it home to drill in a bigger one. Below is a picture of the initial wood cut made in my house. And our birdhouse with a chiseled hole!

Week 1

So I decided that the best way to get started on this project was to create a list of examples that I thought would be fun and useful to do! My friend came over and her and I sat down with a cup of tea and got to work on writing our list. Of course it started out as very broad topics, as we weren’t sure what direction to take it in, but as we got going the ideas grew to be more and more specific. I’m going to share what we came up with here and next week I will get started on one of the ideas that I am wanting to put into place. I am so excited to get started, if anyone thinks of other ideas that can be done please let me know!

  • Build a Birdhouse and put it in the park
  • Build a bee house to help save the bees!
  • Thank someone every day
  • Paint positive messages on rocks and leave them at the beach
  • Text someone who you do not normally speak to good morning or good night
  • Organize a beach clean up with some friends
  • Collect pop tabs for children
  • Tape money to the parking metres on campus
  • Donate extra school supplies to local schools
  • Give out valentines day cards to our class
  • Leave letters of encouragement on peoples windshields
  • Volunteer at animal shelters
  • Bake cookies and bring them to a retirement home
  • Give out flowers to random people on the street
  • Mail a letter to an unexacting friend
  • Learn to say hello in ten different languages
  • Make care packages for soldiers overseas
  • Plant non invasive powers in parks for bee’s
  • Send colouring books to the children hospital
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter
  • Create care packages and hand them to homeless people on the street
  • Give out cookies to students on campus
  • Surprise your parents to thank them for everything they have done
  • Buy the person behind you’s coffee